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The Utah Bionic Leg: A motorized prosthetic for lower-limb amputees

The Utah Bionic Leg is a motorized prosthetic for lower-limb amputees developed by College of Utah mechanical engineering affiliate professor Tommaso Lenzi and his college students within the HGN Lab.

Lenzi’s Utah Bionic Leg makes use of motors, processors, and superior synthetic intelligence that every one work collectively to present amputees extra energy to stroll, stand-up, sit-down, and ascend and descend stairs and ramps. The additional energy from the prosthesis makes these actions simpler and fewer irritating for amputees, who usually have to over-use their higher physique and intact leg to compensate for the shortage of help from their prescribed prosthetics. The Utah Bionic Leg will assist individuals with amputations, notably aged people, to stroll for much longer and attain new ranges of mobility.

“Should you stroll quicker, it’s going to stroll quicker for you and provide you with extra vitality. Or it adapts routinely to the peak of the steps in a staircase. Or it could actually show you how to cross over obstacles,” Lenzi says.

The Utah Bionic Leg makes use of custom-designed drive and torque sensors in addition to accelerometers and gyroscopes to assist decide the leg’s place in house. These sensors are linked to a pc processor that interprets the sensor inputs into actions of the prosthetic joints. Based mostly on that real-time information, the leg supplies energy to the motors within the joints to help in strolling, standing up, strolling up and down stairs, or maneuvering round obstacles. The leg’s “sensible transmission system” connects {the electrical} motors to the robotic joints of the prosthetic. This optimized system routinely adapts the joint behaviors for every exercise, like shifting gears on a motorcycle.

Lastly, along with the robotic knee joint and robotic ankle joint, the Utah Bionic Leg has a robotic toe joint to supply extra stability and luxury whereas strolling. The sensors, processors, motors, transmission system, and robotic joints allow customers to manage the prosthetic intuitively and constantly, as if it was an intact organic leg.

Particulars of the leg’s latest applied sciences are described in a paper printed within the journal. The paper was authored by College of Utah mechanical engineering graduate college students Minh Tran, Lukas Grabert, Sarah Hood and Lenzi. You’ll be able to learn the paper right here.

Lenzi and the college just lately solid a brand new partnership with the worldwide chief within the prosthetics business, Ottobock, to license the know-how behind the Utah Bionic Leg and produce it to people with lower-limb amputations.

This text was initially printed right here.


The School of Engineering on the College of Utah



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